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60 Things To Do This Summer in Bury St Edmunds

It's fair to say we are all looking forward to a long, hot, hazy summer of fun activities and time spent with friends and family. If you’re stuck for ideas of how to spend the time, take a look below for Summer inspiration! There’s something for everyone from family friendly theatre, festivals, exhibitions, free-activities and more!

60 Things To Do This Summer in Bury St Edmunds

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Quentin Blake's Illustrated Hospital at Moyse's Hall Museum

1. Visit the Quentin Blake: The Illustrated Hospital Exhibition at Moyse's Hall Museum. Since 2005, Quentin Blake’s drawings for hospitals and healthcare settings have become a significant part of his work. Because of their clinical function, many of the spaces are not easily accessible to visitors, so relatively few people - only patients and hospital staff - may get the chance to see them. Created in Quentin Blake’s instantly recognisable style, the drawings provide something for everyone. With swimming babies, helpful dragons, treetop adventures, and poignant landscapes, there are plenty of unexpected delights to discover in Quentin Blake’s Illustrated Hospital.

2. Enjoy a summer walk at Nowton Park - the children will love the maze!

3. Savour one of Bury St Edmunds' gastronomic experiences in Suffolk's Foodie Capital.

4. Cycle the new Wolf Way - a new Suffolk cycling adventure that starts right here in Bury St Edmunds.

5. Listen to an Organ Recital in the stunning and historic surroundings of St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

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Dragon Fest

6. Take on the ‘Big eats challenge’ at one of Bury St Edmunds' foodie hotspots; Queen's Bar and Grill. Clear your plate in 30 minutes to get your name in the hall of fame, or fail and pay £40 plus the price of your embarrassment!

7. Discover Suffolk's smallest town on the self-guided Clare Town Trail.

8. Take in a show at The Apex! Among the shows on this summer are The Magic of the Bee Gees, Rhythm of the Dance, The Magic of Motown and The Drifters.

9. Families will enjoy the varied programming at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds this summer.

10. Revel in meeting Dragons, Dinosaurs, Creatures and Unique Characters at Dragon Fest.

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Cathedral LEGO

11. Test if you have a head for heights and see Bury St Edmunds from above by walking up the 202 steps to the top of St Edmundsbury Cathedral tower!

12. Whilst there, visit St Edmundsbury Cathedral's ambitious project to recreate the Cathedral out of 200,000 LEGO bricks! Visitors can see the Lego Cathedral being built before their eyes and you can offer them a hand by placing your very own brick for just £1!

13. Creative thinking, problem solving and battling against the clock, are you ready to take on the escape room challenge at The Evidence Room? With three escape rooms on offer, each designed to test your logic, teamwork and patience, you’ll need to have your wits about you as nothing is quite as it seems.

14. Grab a net and find out what lives beneath the surface by going pond-dipping at National Trust Melford Hall. Take your wellies and small tub, scoop gently and then observe all the tiny pond-life we don’t usually get to see.

15. Pack your picnics, grab your umbrella or sun-cream (or both!) and watch an open-air performances of The Unusual Adventures of Robin Hood and The Secret Garden at the Eastgate Nursery in the Abbey Gardens.

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Our Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival on August Bank Holiday!

16. There's something about eating outside in the summer which makes you feel instantly relaxed. There are lots of eateries that have beautiful outside spaces to eat in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area, take a look at our Alfresco Dining Guide for some inspiration.

17. Step back in time and uncover the powerful stories of the soldiers of the Suffolk Regiment through medals, uniforms, photographs, weapons, equipment and personal memorabilia at the recently refurbished Suffolk Regiment Museum which reopens on July 4th.

18. Come and join the celebrations at Kentwell Hall’s Tudor May Day event, where costumed Living Historians lead processions, dancing and plays. Be sure to take a look at the gardens too which will be bursting into bloom.

19. Sharpen your pencils and join artist Nichola Eddery in an Equine Drawing masterclass at the National Horse Racing Museum. Celebrating 300 years since the birth of painter George Stubbs, Nichola will guide you through step by step drawing and painting a horse.

20. Be sure to pop along to the Our Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival where you can see innovative chef demos, browse the farmers’ market and sample delicious food at a variety of stalls.

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Take a Greene King Brewery Tour this summer

21. Don’t miss a tour of Greene King Brewery when you visit! The brewery has a layered history from 1086, when monks would brew ale on the site of the Great Abbey using water from Bury’s chalk wells which are still used today by Greene King.

22. Cinephiles should pick up the popcorn and head to Abbeygate Cinema, Everyman Cinema or Cineworld in the town.

23. Enjoy a day or two just shopping in Bury St Edmunds. It's the perfect place for retail therapy! While away the time exploring the 200 stores that line the picturesque medieval streets, and elegant Georgian squares. From clothes to kitchenware, shopping in Bury St Edmunds offers something for everyone - all within an easy walking distance in beautiful surroundings. As well as favourite High Street brands, Bury St Edmunds has a host of independent and individual shops that you won't find anywhere else.

24. If the children are getting restless this summer holiday then West Stow Country Park's Beowulf and Grendel Trail is a fantastic walk to keep them occupied while learning something of the area's history and tales. The trail is self-guided and free!

25. Take a tour of the ancient library at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, with over 550 rare books printed in the 16th and 17th century, a friendly guide will tell you all about the history of this incredible collection.

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Fullers Mill Garden

26. Witness a high speed blur of colour as the Shetland ponies and their jockeys fly over the mini Steeplechase course at National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket.

27. Take a wander around beautiful Lavenham. With its Tudor houses, crooked, half-timbered cottages and 15th Century Wool church, it’s easy to understand why the streets of Lavenham have been used as background for TV and films including Lovejoy and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

28. Enjoy a guided tour around Gifford's Hall Vineyard where their knowledgeable guides will talk you through the grapes they grow and the pruning and trellising techniques they use.

29. Take a walking tour of Bury St Edmunds with the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides.

30. Let your curiosity guide you as you discover the stunning Fullers Mill Garden at West Stow - this enchanting and tranquil waterside and woodland garden is a magical place for lovers of all things horticultural.

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Bury St Edmunds Farmers Market

31. Enjoy a morning wandering round over 70 wonderful stalls full of jewellery, candles, wood turning, bakery, bath products, upcycled fashion, eco products, ceramics and more at Bury St Edmunds Makers Market on the first Sunday of every month.

32. See all the greats at the ‘Nearly Festival’ at Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey Gardens in June. This year the region’s number 1 touring tribute band festival features leading tributes to Adele, Queen, Whitney Houston, Elton John and more!

33. Described as “one of Britain’s finest ancient woodlands”, Bradfield Woods Nature Reserve is home to 24 resident species of butterfly as well as birds and mammals too; the garden warbler and blackcap, stoats, yellow-necked mouse and badgers - the perfect place for a butterfly hunt and bird watching.

34. Visit Bury St Edmunds Farmers Market on the second Sunday of every month. Pick up some gorgeous local produce and take a wander around in the sunshine to gain inspiration for your supper.

35. Life is better on wheels at CurveMotion, why not put your skates on and take to the rink with friends and family for a bit of high speed fun!

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Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

36. Discover the Bury St Edmunds Ale Trail featuring pubs and bars including Britain's smallest pub, The Nutshell.

37. Voted one of the best landmark sites in Britain by BBC Countryfile Magazine, you can pay a visit to Suffolk's oldest working water mill, Pakenham Water Mill. Take in the peaceful vista and find out about the site’s important history.

38. Pick up a racket and play tennis at the Abbey Gardens Tennis Courts.

39. Visit the only surviving WWII Operations Room of the Royal Observer Corps at Bury St Edmunds Guildhall! – an unsung group of local heroes who were the ‘eyes and ears of the RAF’ during the Battle of Britain. Their story has been hidden behind a veil of secrecy for over 80 years, but now it’s all been declassified for you to explore.

40. . Budding historians should head to one of the oldest buildings in Lavenham, Little Hall. This 14th century house has been witness to many changing fortunes within Lavenham. Originally built for a family of clothiers, it then was extended in Tudor times and has more recently been restored by the Gayer-Anderson brothers. Don’t forget to take a stroll around the beautiful gardens which combine a knot-garden with a traditional walled English garden.

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Picnic in the Abbey Gardens

41. Visit the special Kentwell Hall - a stunning Tudor house that stands within the most extensive moat in the county and nearly 30 acres of formal gardens and grounds. The building itself has a fascinating history and has been transformed and restored since it’s purchase in 1970. The house offers the visitor a journey through time from the Great Tudor Kitchen to the Gothic centre block to the State bedroom that was created by Thomas Hopper in the 1820s.

42. Tolkienists and Ringers unite and take a tour of Middle Earth in West Stow.

43. See how many birds you can spot in the aviary at the Abbey Gardens, the 9th most visited free attraction in England!

44. Back for it’s 32nd year, the East Anglian Beer & Cider Festival will take place in the beautiful cathedral. Boasting over 250 real ales and 40 ciders, food stalls and a sound stage, there’s something for everyone at this bustling festival.

45. Walk in the footsteps of the Masters of the Air, as told in the Apple TV blockbuster series, and discover the real stories of the 94th Bomb Group with a visit to Rougham Control Tower Aviation Museum

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Kentwell Hall's Magic Weekend

46. Watch Beatrix Potter's favourite animal friends be brought to life in 'The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck' at West Stow Country Park.

47. Discover Bury St Edmunds' best cocktail bars on the Bury St Edmunds Cocktail Trail!

48. Do you know your Mugwort from your Verbena? Take this fascinating class in Anglo Saxon herbs at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village,, where you can gather herbs as our ancestors did and learn about how they were used, and can still be used, for food and medicine.

49. See behind the scenes at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds on a Theatre Tour- a vibrant 200-year-old theatre and the last remaining working Regency playhouse in the country. Step on up and into the spotlight where the likes of Ian McKellan CBE, Dame Judi Dench DBE, Sir Peter Hall CBE and many more have gone before you. You’ll even get to tread the boards yourself!

50. Meet magicians, fairies, wizards, mystics, unicorns, Mad Hatters, gnomes, witches, Santa Claus & family on holiday and more at Kentwell Hall's Magic Weekend!

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Family at National Trust Ickworth

51. Enjoy some hilarious comedy, magic and toe-tapping tunes with an evening of Open air theatre at National Trust Ickworth Park, House & Gardens, as Boxtree Productions present their version of Kenneth Grahame’s classic story ‘The Wind in the Willows’.

52. Enjoy a fabulous evening of drag, lip-syncing, live singing, games and pure chaos at ‘Now that’s what I call Drag!’ at The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds.

53. Take a nighttime stroll through National Trust Ickworth Park on their guided Bat Walk. Learn the different calls of the Pipstrelle and the Daubenton on this evening exploration of their habitats.

54. Come along to a Gin Festival set in the stunning surroundings of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. The festival aim is to celebrate and raise awareness of fabulous craft gins, spirits and distillers, introduce you to new gins, rums and vodkas you may not have discovered before, and let you enjoy tasting samples as part of your tickets from an array on onsite craft distillers all excited to meet with you.

55. The South Suffolk Show is definitely worth a visit - a busy one day agricultural show bursting with exciting attractions: rural displays, horse and livestock classes, traditional fairground rides, food stalls and a large picnic area for visitors.

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Red Rooster Festival

56. Do your bit for the planet and come along to the Eco Fair at Lackford Lakes, where you can learn about little changes you can make and take home some eco products.

57. Head on down to the Red Rooster Festival for a whisky sippin', guitar strummin', banjo pickin', rib suckin', weekend of Southern Blues and Country in the heart of Suffolk County. The best in R 'n B, Americana, Blues, Soul, Roots and Country, with high quality food and loads of style.

58. Celebrating its diamond (75 years!) anniversary The Great East Anglian Cathedral Model Railway are hosting a show in the Cathedral with over 50 traders and exhibitors that promises to be a treat.

59. Music-lovers can look forward to a great day out this summer, as the Bury St Edmunds Folk Festival once again brings its own brand of magic to Nowton Park. Enjoy music from The Doghouse Collective, Petra Garrard, Fraser Morgan, Red Velvet and many more, as well as food and drink, things to do, workshops and stalls.

60. Join one of the largest and longest walking festivals in the country and discover new landscapes at the Suffolk Walking Festival. Learn more about the land’s ancient history, make new friends, or just take in the spectacular views along the way on a variety of fascinating routes.

For even more things to do this summer, check out our What's On Guide!

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